House CallFeb/Mar 2010 Issue

Rub It In: Sensitive Skin

You can hardly pass by a cosmetic counter these days without seeing the word ‘natural.’ Back-to-basics is back in style in the beauty industry. Yet when it comes to simple, fresh ingredients that suit delicate skin, nothing beats the personal care products you can whip up at home.

Creating your own beauty products is fun and easy to do. Plus, the cost savings is difficult to ignore. Whenever I compare how much I spend on homemade versions versus the cost of commercial products, I am always delighted and amazed.

There are definite health benefits to do-it-yourself skin care, particularly for those who are sensitive or allergic. You can customize your home-prepared product to meet your specific needs, easily avoiding ingredients that are known allergens. And because you are in control of exactly what goes into it, you can be sure the final result is non-irritating and safe for you.

Spring weather may get you thinking about summer tank tops and shorts—skin that’s been hidden all winter will soon be on display. Here’s a simple recipe that you can make at home to nourish and moisturize your skin so it’s ready for the warm, sunny days ahead. This rich, buttery balm contains just five pure ingredients—cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and beeswax. These classic skin-conditioning items are tried-and-true, allergy friendly and guaranteed gentle for sensitive skin.

Look for 100 percent cocoa butter in the skin-care aisle of your grocery store or local natural foods market. Coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil can be found in the cooking oil aisle. Beeswax, usually sold at farmer’s markets, natural food stores or by individuals involved with honey production, is available in small blocks or rounds. It can be grated for cosmetic use with a standard kitchen grater.

Body Butter

MAKES 4 OUNCES

This is a wonderful allover body cream.

¼ cup grated or chopped cocoa butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon avocado oil or sunflower oil or almond oil
1 tablespoon grated beeswax

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and warm on the stove until they just begin to melt. Or heat ingredients in a microwave on high, about 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Remove mixture from heat and stir until well blended.

3. Pour melted mixture into a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Massage a small amount into your skin to condition and moisturize.

 

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